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Match Report - Swansea City 1 Fulham 1

last updated Sunday 24th July 2005, 7:36 AM
A goal from Steed Malbranque was cancelled out by a Marc Goodfellow strike as Fulham drew with Swansea City in the Alan Curtis Testimonial at the Swan's New Stadium.

Heidar Helguson was handed his first appearance for Fulham after making his summer switch from Watford. The Icelandic international lined up alongside Tomasz Radzinski up front. Another player handed his first taste of action for the Whites was Danish left back Niclas Jensen. Papa Bouba Diop did not travel with the squad after picking up a minor knock in training last week.

Playing in their new arena the Swans were first to threaten when danger man Lee Trundle put the ball just wide after managing to get on the end of a well delivered cross into the area. Fulham replied almost instantaneously when Tomasz Radzinski, who has looked sharp all pre-season, worked a nice pass into the path of Steed Malbranque. The French playmaker looked to be clean through but he unfortunately trod on the ball and lost control.

The game continued to swing and minutes later a Martinez corner caused problems in the Fulham penalty area. Mark Crossley fumbled a catch and the ball spilled into a crowded area. A Fulham foot cleared the danger but it was a narrow escape.

Unsurprisingly, the Whites countered quickly when Radzinski sprinted away from his marker to latch on to a quickly taken free kick. The Canadian was looking odds on to test the home goalkeeper but a last-gasp tackle from Ricketts took the ball away from the former Everton man.

The pace of the game continued unabated with the home side keeping a high tempo and pressing Fulham's back line. On 20 minutes Radzinski once more tried his luck only to see his effort fly well wide.

A relatively quiet spell of play followed before the Whites kicked into gear again. On 36 minutes Zesh Rehman, who put in an impressive display, took the initiative and brought the ball out of defence. His pass found Malbranque free on the edge of the area but the Frenchman rushed his shot and fired over.

The half finished with a flurry as Fulham searched for the opener, but despite having possession in some useful areas, the final ball was lacking.

The interval saw Fulham make a number of changes as Chris Coleman introduced his international players. Liam Rosenior, Collins John, Luis Boa Morte and Zat Knight all got their first taste of pre-season action while Jaroslav Drobny replaced Mark Crossley in goal.

Boa Morte made an immediate impact on the game when he supplied an inch-perfect cross for Radzinski who placed his header wide with the goal at his mercy. Moments later Boa Morte and John combined well to supply Radzinski with another chance; this time, however, his shot was cleared off the line.

The opening goal of the game came soon after when Steed Malbranque, from the right of the penalty area, placed the ball past Gueret. Whether the effort was intended as a cross is only know to the Frenchman, but the trajectory of the ball completely evaded the Swans' keeper.

Lee Trundle managed to trick he way past three Fulham players before scuffing his shot wide of goal as the home side began to show that they were far from out of this encounter.

Claus Jensen almost doubled Fulham's lead on 63 minutes when his sweetly struck free kick left Gueret rooted to the spot. The Swans' custodian could on look on as the ball narrowly flew over the bar and grazed the roof of the net.

Not for the first time this pre-season, Jaroslav Drobny performed well in a one-on-one situation, this time saving with his feet after Trundle had sprung the Fulham offside trap.

Marc Goodfellow scored the equaliser late on to give the home side a fitting curtain raiser to life in their new stadium.

Fulham: Crossley (Drobny ht); Volz (Rosenior ht), Goma (Leacock 69), Rehman (Knight ht), N Jensen (Timlin 69); Malbranque, Legwinski, C Jensen, Elrich (Boa Morte ht); Radzinski, Helguson (John ht)
Source Fulham FC
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